So, Last night I hit the pivot point in the story.
I am, as you may know, writing The Novel. There are two stories in my head, and one is a six part fantasy epic, and the other is a novel. I’ve been working on The Epic since I was twelve, and whilst I’ve now got a fully formed world with magic systems, a plot, people, places and things, I’m not writing it because I can’t do it justice just yet. So The Novel.
The novel is in a Wiki, at the moment. I’ve discovered that Wiki’s are a wonderful device for working out ideas and plots. Terry Pratchett spoke of “The Pit”, a massive document on his computer that contains his personal encycopaedia of the Discworld, of which parts are published as the Discworld Companion, and wiki’s are the perfect way of documenting and crossreferencing stuff like that.
However, for some reason whilst I can work out the meanings and effects whilst working on the wiki, but inspiration lacks. The only time I get hit by inspiration is when I can’t type, so I got the idea for the story while my hard-drive was dead in autumn, stewed it for six months until I worked out the central plot points while sitting in a cafe by the river in Reading, and yesterday, when my computer was being a DVD player in the lounge I went out to take the rented DVDs back. In the back of my mind was a tune from a movie, which I thought about, and around, and then suddenly like a large game of tetris, a whole load of plot points stopped hanging around in mid-air, and dropped into place. Not only did I now know why the heros we helping, I know what they have to do.
When talking about the ultimate question “Where do you get your ideas from”, Neil Gaiman – one of my favourite writers – said it was from asking “What If’s”. Jill McGown says they come from everywhere. In my experience, they come from not being there.
“Sgfjxxafg” – my one physically published story came from a single fragment of a sentance that my oldest younger brother wrote in a story when he was six or something. “Home” came from one too many train journies from Sunderland back home, Chris– published in Extraverse – came from trudging along my old walk to school on holiday from University, “do androids dream” from the obvious book. Rosalind from a George Farquhar play, a Shakespearian play, a real life performance and a real life farce. And “Happily Ever After” came from a challange to write something less depressing than usual 🙂
That’s why I haven’t been writing real stuff recently. I’ve been working on Other Things, a state which is likely to continue for a while, and since I’m loathe to go on hiatus again, I’m going to put all the short stories back on the site, one at a time, from now until I return. Keep watching, this could be fun…